Primary sources are produced by participants or direct observers of an issue, event or time period. These sources may be recorded during the event or later on, by a participant reflecting upon the event. In some cases, it will be difficult to obtain the original source, so you may have to rely on copies (photocopies, microfilm, digital copies). Copies or transcriptions of a primary source still count as a primary source.
Some examples of primary sources include:
While primary sources are often desirable for the raw, non-interpreted information they provide, it is important to analyze them for your research. Ask yourself these questions:
The term primary research refers to the data collected by a researcher (through experiments, surveys, observations, etc) that they then analyze in their original work. Secondary data analysis happens when a researcher analyzes existing data sets (as when one uses US Census information in their research).
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